Communities and lawmakers across the nation have been fighting back against the UN’s so-called “sustainable development” schemes for years. But the trend is accelerating as more and more cities and towns cancel their memberships in “ICLEI — Local Governments for Sustainability,” formerly known as the “International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.”
The UN-linked non-profit is essentially a global advocacy group seeking to implement a broad range of policies at every level of government — especially the plans laid out in Agenda 21, a UN scheme to radically alter the world under the guise of environmentalism. But ICLEI and the agenda it represents have come under increasing scrutiny recently as awareness grows and activists mobilize.
While “sustainability” may sound nice at first, critics of the plans note that advocates of “sustainable development” have much broader goals in mind. "Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class — involving high meat intake, the use of fossil fuels, electrical appliances, home and work-place air-conditioning and suburban housing — are not sustainable," noted Earth Summit Secretary-General Maurice Strong as he ushered in Agenda 21 two decades ago.
Dozens of local governments and counties have already expelled ICLEI in recent years. In fact, membership in the international organization has declined from over 600 local governments in America in 2009 to around 550 today.
A new wave of withdrawals is expected in 2012 as public outrage over the schemes and the dangers they represent to freedom continues to build. The city of College Station and its almost 100,000 residents just became the most recent example of a community taking action to protect the rights of citizens.
According to Jason Stuebe, the assistant to the College Station city manager, local officials decided over a month ago that leaving ICLEI was in the best interests of the community. And so, in late February, the city sent ICLEI a letter stating that College Station would not be renewing its membership or participating in any of the organization’s programs going forward.
“Furthermore, I asked that ICLEI immediately cancel our membership (if it is even still active), and remove the City of College Station and its officers from any and all ICLEI rosters, publications, and websites,” Stuebe said. Other local governments found that, even after withdrawing, ICLEI often failed to promptly remove them from membership lists.
Since 2009, College Station taxpayers — including many students at Texas A&M University, which is based there — have been paying upwards of $1,000 per year for ICLEI membership. But while the fee may seem relatively small, local officials are glad to be rid of the organization and what it represents.
“I am truly excited to announce that the proposed 2013 College Station budget will not include funding for this organization,” wrote College Station City Councilman Jess Fields. “It is an insidious, extreme institution that does not represent our citizens, and for our taxpayers to continue to fund it would be ridiculous.”
Fields said that because ICLEI is an international organization seeking to impose its policies at all levels of government — and many local governments have already adopted at least parts of its agenda — College Station will have to be on guard in the future to avoid becoming entangled in its initiatives. “[T]his organization is a threat to our individual rights and our local government’s sovereignty in decision-making,” he wrote.
In the devastating critique of ICLEI compiled using the organization’s own documents, Fields revealed that the goals go far beyond simply protecting the environment. Noting that the word “radical” appears regularly throughout ICLEI material, the city councilman cited several documents to expose the true nature of its agenda.
The group’s “Governing Charter,” for example, states that member governments should “affirm gender equality,” ensure “universal access” to health care, integrate the “values” needed for a “sustainable way of life” into education, and much more. Also troubling to critics: ICLEI seeks to prod local officials to “adopt patterns of production, consumption, and reproduction that safeguard Earth’s regenerative capacities,” according to the charter.
“ICLEI’s Charter and its Strategic Plan both reinforce what could already be surmised by examining its founding and history,” Fields noted. “This is an international organization with an extreme environmentalist bent, which desires to impose its vision of ‘sustainability’ on the citizens of member cities and connect to the United Nations in a way that furthers that goal.”
According to Fields, imposing the policies needed to achieve ICLEI’s vision of a “sustainable future” would require a significant reduction in individual rights — after all, governments’ only tool is to “coerce people with force,” he noted. Plus, Fields explained in the piece, the impacts of those policies are “dangerous” to the free-market economy and to taxpayers. Countless critics of Agenda 21 and ICLEI agree.
“Ultimately, ICLEI is clearly not an organization that represents the interests of our citizens in College Station,” he wrote. “We do not need international organizations leading the way for us in how we develop our planning and development tools and regulations. It is better for policies to reflect the actual needs of our community than some amorphous concept of greenness or sustainability, promoted by an overarching international body.”
College Station, of course, is hardly alone. The New American has reported on numerous other local governments extricating themselves from ICLEI and Agenda 21 in recent years. Officials across Texas have become increasingly vocal, too. And the whole agenda has now become an important campaign issue in the state.
“Under the guise of world sustainability the plan establishes a regime of rules that attempt to bypass Congress and the American people, handing over power over vast areas of the US economy to unelected UN bureaucrats,” noted Ted Cruz, one of the frontrunners in the GOP primary for a U.S. Senate seat representing Texas. “Agenda 21 is wrong, and it must be stopped.”
Cruz, the former Solicitor General of Texas, promised that if elected, he would take the fight against the UN’s scheming directly to Washington. “In the U.S. Senate, I intend to continue leading the fight to stop Agenda 21 and any other globalist plan that tries to subvert the U.S. Constitution and the liberties we all cherish as Americans,” he wrote recently on his campaign website. “We need fighters in the Senate, who will stand and defend We the People.”
Even the Republican National Committee recently joined the fight against Agenda 21. “The United Nations Agenda 21 plan of radical so-called ‘sustainable development’ views the American way of life of private property ownership, single family homes, private car ownership and individual travel choices, and privately owned farms; all as destructive to the environment,” states the official RNC resolution approved in January.
But as the backlash against ICLEI, the UN, Agenda 21, and all of its related organizations and schemes continues to grow, ICLEI officials are hitting back. “Across the country, we’ve witnessed a small but vehement group of activists who often resort to intimidation tactics to disrupt local planning meetings and halt healthy dialogue at a time when it is needed more than ever,” alleged ICLEI USA Executive Director Michael Schmitz last month in a press release.
Schmitz claimed the trend toward citizens taking action to stop ICLEI was “unsettling,” even preposterously accusing opponents of his outfit of trying to stop efforts to make communities more prosperous. “As our nation attempts to recover from the economic crisis and a record-breaking year of extreme weather that cost us tens of billions of dollars, we must not allow common-sense community planning efforts to be derailed,” he said in the statement.
Even as Agenda 21 comes under increasing pressure in the United States, however, world leaders are preparing to assemble in Rio de Janeiro in June on the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit. The plan is to once again plot the “sustainable” future of humanity while building the foundation of a global “green economy” based on UN principles.
While dubious theories on “climate change” are reportedly off the agenda to avoid controversy, UN leaders have a grandiose vision of what they hope to accomplish at the summit. And the UN apparatus has already started a half-baked campaign to fight back against opponents, even dispatching tax-funded propagandists to demonize criticism of Agenda 21. But it does not appear to be working.
Of course, leaving ICLEI is only a first step in a community’s battle against Agenda 21, experts noted. Policies, boards, decisions, and other measures implemented at the behest of the international organization must also be undone. Citizens, of course, must remain vigilant, too. But according to opponents of the UN-led schemes, College Station is now on the right track.